Toffee Apples – Luscious caramel with an unexected twist


Luscious caramel coated apples with the twist of popping candy perfect for Hallowe’en or Bonfire Night  Fortunately, there are Sussex apples in abundance to choose from that have the right content of tart fruitiness to balance the sweet toffee.This week, the Red Devil apples are still quite small and tart and have a wonderful pink flecked flesh.  Alternatively, on the medium tart side, you could try a Red Pippin…but for children, the sweetness of the smaller Cox varieties are probably the most appealing.

These three varieties are all quite firm and will stand up to being stuck on a stick without breaking (you don’t want to lose the precious toffee) – and without graininess.

None of our local apples are waxed, by the way.


  • 8 apples (try Red Pippin, Red Devil or Cox)
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of golden syrup
  • 15g of popping candy
1.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Evenly peel the top half of the apples – leave the bottom half with the skin on. Arrange the apples on top of the tray and push a lolly stick into the bottom of each one
  • 8 apples, unwaxed
2.  For the caramel, place a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of water, the caster sugar and golden syrup. Using a sugar thermometer, bring up to 140°C or hard-crack stage
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of golden syrup
3.  Once it reaches 140°C, stop the caramel from colouring further by putting the base of the pan into cold water for a few seconds, taking care not to let any water seep into the caramel
4.  Do not cool the caramel for too long as you will need to be able to dip the apples into it
5.  Tip the popping candy into a small bowl. Dip the peeled half of each apple into the caramel to completely cover the exposed flesh. Allow to set for 30 seconds then dip into the popping candy
  • 15g of popping candy
6.  Place the toffee apples onto parchment paper and allow the caramel to harden before serving

This recipe is another from Great British Chefs

Also, if you don’t have a sugar thermometer, then here’s a handy website with lots of information about sugar testing.

Stages of Sugar

Stages of Sugar testing website

When cooking sugar, it will go through several stages as it boils; the more moisture that evaporates from the mixture the higher the temperature will rise. Different recipes call for the sugar to cook to different stages depending on what is being made and what is expected as the end result. The different stages are described as follows:


OK and this is probably teaching granny to suck eggs – but protect your hands and fingers!  the most painful burn I’ve ever experienced was a sugar burn, as molten sugar is impossible to get off the skin quick enough to prevent it burning further.  One experience of hours of a throbbing hand was enough!  Wear long oven mitts to protect your hand and keep a pan of icy water to hand, just in case.  Avoid any long jewellery or hair that could transfer any drips of melted sugar.

One last tip we were given was – don’t be discouraged if you burn it first time.  Keep the temperature low and take it slowly.  Even professional chefs sometimes mess up sometimes.

Toffee Apples – Luscious caramel with an unexected twist

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